Flow

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

Recently listened to a book written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Just about every one of us in our lives have experienced some form of flow, but like most other things in our lives, flow is generally fleeting and very short lived…

Oftentimes quick highs such as cocaine and hookers can be misinterpreted as flow and although the chase may be a wild and pleasurable ride, it will inevitably lead us down a path of destruction with absolutely no return. 

When true flow is found, it has the ability to be shockingly sustainable but it’s up to us to figure out a way to maintain the magic. 

As an athlete, the ultimate byproduct of flow is what many would describe as “being in the zone.” 

Think about a time in your life when the game slowed down and you became completely immersed in that moment… 

That one instance when everything just effortlessly happened and you were at the absolute height of your efficiency and effectiveness of whatever activity you were engaged in… 

One of my best examples was in 2003 when I was playing for the Oakland A’s and in the midst of a 22 game hitting streak… 

After hitting in 19 straight games, I was 0-4 and going into my last at bat against Royals flame throwing closer Mike McDougall down by 1 run with a runner on base and 2 outs in the 9th inning… 

I knew that if I had any chance to get a hit I was going to have to find a way to “slow down” his 100 mph fastball… After 4 shitty at bats where I tried to do way too much, I simply focused on seeing the ball out of McDougall’s hand. 

The first pitch started on the inside part of the plate then broke off the plate inside… I saw it so well I thought for sure it was a change up but looked on the scoreboard and it read 99 mph… 

I knew I was where I needed to be.

The next pitch started over the middle and broke to the inside corner… I pulled my hands inside my body during an effortless swing that simply dropped the barrel of the bat to the baseball. I couldn’t feel it but the ball rocketed off my bat and flew over the left fielder’s head on a line and then ricocheted off the top of the left field wall and into the stands for a game winning 2-run ding dong Donkey Kong… 

Looking back on my entire big league career, that is one moment in time I can assure you I was in the zone but let’s remember, the zone is like hookers and blow, a short lived high… 

What allowed me to get to that euphoric zone was a consistent routine and steady mindset that created a state of flow that lasted nearly a month. 

Flow is found when we act for no other reason than the joy of being alive… Sure, the game and the hitting streak were on the line… Sure, you could make the case that millions of dollars and my career was on the line as well… But for that month and in that one moment of time in the batter’s box in Kansas City, none of that shit mattered one bit… The flow was created from my enjoyment of playing the same game I had played since I was 9 years old and the zone was attained from a complete and total immersion into that exact moment in time.

Bottom line, if we want to keep flowing we got to keep enjoying & keep immersing… 

-EB

 

P.S. Have you hopped on a Team GoHard Foot Reflexology Board yet?